.223 Loads

I picked up some Varget to use in some .223 loads.

I’ll start by saying that once I use up this powder, I won’t buy any more of it. The reason is simple. I am unable to get consistent drops from my powder measure with it. Each charge was weighed, and they would vary by .1 to .2 grains from my intended weight. When I was loading with the Accurate powder, each load was dead on, every time. And I think it is due to a combination of the shape of the powder and my powder drop.

Take a look:
Hodgdon Varget

Accurate 2460:

The Varget powder is cylindrical in shape, and the Accurate 2460 is spherical. It seems that in my powder drop, the spherical powder fills the cavity much more uniformly than the cylindrical powder. Note, I’m not saying it’s bad powder, just different, and it doesn’t work as well with the re-loading equipment I use.

So on to the reloads. I loaded 3 different batches. All using Hornady FMJBT 55 grain bullets, all seated to an OAL of 2.240“ give or take a few thousandth’s of an inch. These targets were at 25 yards, shot off one of those triangular rests they provide at the range, from an AR-15 using a Rock River Arms Mid-length upper with a 16” Chrome lined Wilson barrel. I really need to upgrade my benchrest setup ( A LOT) to take me out of the equation as much as possible when trying to do these comparisons. So take them for what they are worth.

First up, 25.5 Grains of Varget


Next, 26.0 grains of Varget:


And finally, 26.5 grains of Varget:


As a comparison, Here’s a target shot with a load of 26.0 grains of Accurate 2460, same bullet as above.


I didn’t see any noticable difference in the 3 loads I shot. I’ll probably load a bunch of brass using 25.5 grains of Varget until its gone. The increased powder charge didn’t seem to buy me anything, so I might as well get as much as I can out of it.

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4 Responses to .223 Loads

  1. ken whitebread says:

    I was wondering since you did this 223 powder comparrison varget verses accurate 2460, have you came up with other powders that may be a better powder for 223 cal w/bolt action rifle. Or do you still stick w/accurate 2460? I’ll be using hornady’s 55 gr. v-max. I’ve heard accurate 2230 or 322 is also good for 223 rem. I haven’t reloaded any for 223 yet. thanks ken

  2. LeadChucker says:

    Sorry Ken, I haven’t gotten around to doing any other loads for 223 yet. If you have one you’re interested in seeing, let me know. I need to load up another batch one of these days. I was thinking about working up some loads with Accurate 2520 as well, its a little faster powder than 2460, so I’m curious to see the difference, but I’m open to another powder….

  3. Tommy says:

    LC- I too use Varget for my .223, 5.56, and 30-06 loads. I chose it mainly because of its availability. My target results were roughly the same as yours, using nearly the same equipment – a RRA AR-15 (the Elite CAR-A4), but I went with the 69gr. Sierra Matchking + 24.0 gr. of Varget +CCI 400 primers, in once fired Lake City (for 5.56) and pre-primed Remington (for .223) cases. I came up with the same issues – the cylindrical powders don’t meter as well as I’d like in my powder measures. For the economy though, and the cleanliness of burning, I still like Varget. My best loads ever (when judged by the group size) came from the same components above, but using 23.4 grains of H4895. My cartridge overall length is and will continue to be 2.260″, for my AR’s. I’ve found that this length works just fine in the AR’s long throat, still fits my magazines, and keeps me from compressing the powder charge. Thanks for the info on 2460, I was looking to try a truly spherical powder, and one I can use to hopefully replicate the standard Remington loads.

  4. Phillip says:

    322 is a dirty powder in the AR platform.RL10,15 and TAC are much cleaner in the tube and chamber area,I run Varget in the bolt gun and use a Redding BR30 measure with no problems

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